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Steven Gonzales v. As Premature Dr. Godwin Ugwueze

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


March 21, 2013

STEVEN GONZALES,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
AS PREMATURE DR. GODWIN UGWUEZE, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF EXPERT WITNESS (Doc. 18)

Plaintiff Steven Gonzales, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on September 20, 2011. This action is proceeding against Defendant Ugwueze for acting with deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's medical needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

On March 18, 2013, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking the appointment of an expert witness. "If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise," Fed. R. Evid. 702, and the Court has the discretion to appoint an expert and to apportion costs, including the apportionment of costs to one side, Fed. R. Evid. 706; Ford ex rel. Ford v. Long Beach Unified School Dist., 291 F.3d 1086, 1090 (9th Cir. 2002); Walker v. American Home Shield Long Term Disability Plan, 180 F.3d 1065, 1071 (9th Cir. 1999). However, at this early stage in the proceedings, there are no pending matters in which the Court requires special assistance, Ford ex rel. Ford, 291 F.3d at 1090; Walker, 180 F.3d at 1071, and Plaintiff's pro se, in forma pauperis status alone is not grounds for the appointment of an expert witness to assist Plaintiff with his case.

Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion for the appointment of an expert witness is HEREBY DENIED as premature.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20130321

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